Argentina Benin Bolivia Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi Chile Colombia Comoros Djibouti Ecuador Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana India Ivory Coast Kenya Liberia Mali Niger Nigeria Pakistan Paraguay Peru Rwanda Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Sudan Sudan Suriname Tanzania Togo Trinidad and Tobago Uganda United States of America Uruguay Venezuela Worldwide
WE INVEST IN INTREPID ENTREPRENEURS AND EARLY STAGE INNOVATORS TACKLING THE PROBLEMS OF POVERTY. The markets alone cannot solve the problems of poverty; nor are charity and aid enough to tackle the challenges faced by over two-thirds of the world’s population living in poverty. Patient capital is a third way that seeks to bridge the gap between the efficiency and scale of market-based approaches and the social impact of pure philanthropy.
PATIENT CAPITAL THAT DARES TO GO WHERE MARKETS HAVE FAILED AND AID HAS FALLEN SHORT
Patient capital investing bridges the gap between the efficiency and scale of market-based approaches and the social impact of pure philanthropy. Patient capital has a high tolerance for risk, has long time horizons, is flexible to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, and is unwilling to sacrifice the needs of end customers for the sake of shareholders. At the same time, patient capital ultimately demands accountability in the form of a return of capital: proof that the underlying enterprise can grow sustainably in the long run.
We are seeing exciting new business models capable of bringing affordable, life-changing products and services to the poor. These businesses are transforming the lives of their customers, and are creating jobs that lead directly to economic growth.
Starting a new business is always tough and starting a business in the developing world can be much tougher. Launching a business that focuses on the needs of the world’s poorest often seems impossible. Patient Capital is the scarce resource that allows new, sometimes crazy, potentially world-changing ideas see the light of day.
We make seed and early-stage investments that enable social enterprises to validate assumptions, bring products and services to market, and begin to scale.
ACCESS TO EXPERTISE
Acumen partners with corporations responding to new business and sustainability challenges. We engage with corporations who align with our goals, and an explicit commitment to sustainable and inclusive business practices. In addition to funding, we work with our partners to secure in-kind and pro-bono support that can dramatically expand the capacity of our portfolio companies.
To help our companies grow and scale, we offer active post-investment support and guidance in the areas of strategy, governance, customer insights and fundraising.
Our investments focus on companies tackling poverty across multiple sectors including agriculture, clean energy, education and healthcare.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
Acumen makes equity and debt investments in for-profit social enterprises. From banks in rural Pakistan supporting low-income farmers to ambulances in Mumbai with a mandate to “serve all” regardless of income, our companies are solving some of the world’s toughest social problems.
THE CRITERIA WE USE TO MAKE INVESTMENTS
- GEOGRAPHY - We invests in companies that have significant operations or impact within East Africa, West Africa, India, Pakistan, Latin America, or the United States.
- SECTORS - Our global investment focus sectors are Energy, Agriculture, Health, and Education. Within the United States, we focus on Financial Inclusion, Health, and Workforce Development.
- STAGE - We invest in seed- to early-stage social enterprises, deploying either equity, quasi-equity or debt capital.
- POTENTIAL FOR SOCIAL IMPACT - We seek to invest in enterprises that provide a product or deliver a service that addresses a critical need for the poor.
- POTENTIAL FOR FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY - Our business models demonstrate the potential to finance themselves beyond Acumen’s investment, either through follow-on capital or internal cash flows.
- POTENTIAL FOR SCALED IMPACT - We seeks opportunities that have the potential to scale the number of end users or be leading service providers.
Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year
Cost/funding for participants:
INVESTMENTS NOT CHARITY
- For Acumen, patient capital is understood as a debt or equity investment in an early-stage enterprise providing low-income consumers with access to healthcare, water, housing, alternative energy, or agricultural inputs. Our typical commitments of patient capital for an enterprise range from $300,000 to $2,500,000 in equity or debt with payback or exit in roughly seven to ten years.
- The patient capital Acumen provides is accompanied by a wide range of management support services nurturing the company to scale. In the long-run we aim to see a return of our capital. We do not expect high financial returns to come from investing in businesses that serve the poor.